Two "New Days" in Baltimore
This past week Baltimore aimed to proclaim a “New Day” in two ways. Baltimore’s mayor Catherine Pugh selected a new police commissioner Joel Fitzgerald, the fourth police commissioner in five years. Meanwhile in the sports world the Oriole’s bought on a new general manager Mike Elias from the Houston Astros who played a great deal in their resurgence. Both men seem qualified in their respective positions and have a mountain of work ahead of them.
Joel Fitzgerald is coming from Fort. Worth, TX as the police chief there to take the position. He has already proclaimed he is coming to “help heal the city” and is very aware of the task in front of him. A disheartening stubborn murder rate, reported low morale among the men and woman in blue. Trust issues between the police department and the community it serves, and a federal mandate to reform the department and some of its practices. Hopefully he’s the man to help change things.
Mike Elias who was an assistant GM in the Astros organization, is a man many are hoping will spearhead the effort to bring a World Series championship back to Baltimore. Coming off a horrible 115 lost season, he has to find a new manager and coaching staff, rebuild the farm system which has been in disarray for years. Take a look at the current roster which has a few valuable trade chips but not many, and expand the organizations footprint in Latin America which it is severely behind other clubs on. He has made the statement his goal is to build “an elite talent pipeline”. The Orioles can’t develop pitchers let alone many impact players for any position, hopefully he stays true to his word and is here to change that.
While both men have two completely different jobs that have different effects on people’s lives. They both have a steep hill to climb and both deserve a chance to turn things around. Along with being the men in charge there is something else they will need….help. These reforms won’t be successful without a good support system around both gentleman.
Baltimore did not get the crime rate it is known for overnight. It’s an result of decades of neglect, systematic policies that hurt citizens as opposed to help, carelessness, sense of hopelessness and a “not our problem” mentality. For Joel Fitzgerald and the police department to truly turn things around for the long haul, it’s going to require a lot of help from the local government, state government, and community. A way to keep repeat offenders off the streets and mean it, reach out to the youth and steer them in the right direction before it’s too late, bringing more jobs to the city. Bring the school system up to date to engage kids who have more then enough distractions. Making sure the police department is well staffed and equipped for the job, and has the resources needed to get the job done.
The Orioles had a brief renaissance, but still did not address organization wide issues that plagued them for years and proved to be a culprit in their massive downfall. Elias has already began building his team by bringing analytics guru Sig Mejdal over with him from the Astros. One of the most important positions in my opinion is finding a qualified person who can finally develop some quality pitchers like the O’s were known for back in the 60’s and 70’s. Taking nothing from Andy Macphail, Buck Showalter, or Dan Duquette but truly bringing back the Oriole Way throughout the entire organization. Bringing the organization into the 21st century is a career at this point. And Mike Elias will have to surround himself with the right people to make it happen in a time frame fans will accept.
Personally I hope both men are true agents of change. I also hope they are allowed to think outside the box and be innovate with how they approach change. Obviously what’s going on in the police department and the Orioles isn’t working, so new ideas need to be bought in. Let’s give them a shot and hope the crime rate goes down to historic lows in a few years and stays that way, let’s hope the Orioles finally bring that championship home. In both ways it’ll heal the city.
About The Author
B.Easy is the co-host of Talkin' Suplexes. He's a self-professed geek loving movies, wrestling, comic books, and using his imagination. Goal in life is become to a world traveler and get paid to hop on lear jets. Follow him on Instagram @iam_beasy, Follow Talkin' Suplexes @talkinsuplexespod